Franchising through the eyes of The Simpsons

The Simpsons is a cultural phenomenon.


They also capture the essence of franchising quite well. The Twisted World of Marge Simpson is the 1997 episode where Marge buys a pretzel franchise.

Homer helps out the cratering business scheme by getting organized crime involved.

Find below what I found funny or check out a transcript of the episode here.

Host [Discovery Day]: Now, folks, I don’t wanna alarm ya, but scientists say forty percent of America’s pictures… are hanging crooked.
[the audience gasp in shock]
Yep, it’s true.  And I hear you asking: “Well, who’s gonna straighten out all these artistic abominations?”  Your friends? A neighbor?   Those fat cats at Washington?  [chuckles]  Good luck.  Hey, you know, maybe no one’ll notice!  Maybe the problem with ju-u-u-st fix itself.

Marge: Now you’re the one who’s being naive.

Man: Okay.  Fair enough.  But you sound like you’re ready to become your own boss in the exciting world of frame-nudging!  Yes, for a minimal franchise fee, you’ll receive a pair of straightening gloves, a cannister of wall lubricant and a booklet of the most commonly asked questions you will hear, including: “Who are you?” and “What are you doing here?”


Marge: When can I start?  Where’s my territory?

Frank [franchisor]: Your… territory.  Well, lemme tell ya.  Wherever a young mother is ignorant of what to feed her baby, you’ll be there.  Wherever nacho penetration is less than total, you’ll be there.  Wherever a Bavarian is not quite full, you will be there.

Marge: Don’t forget fat people.  They can’t stop eating!

Homer: [passing by the stand]  Hey, pretzels!

Tony: [clearing his throat]  Greetings, Homer.

Homer: Hey!  Fat Tony!  You still with the mafia?

Tony: Uh…  Uh, yes, I am.  Thank you for asking.

Now, Homer, as you no doubt recall, you were done a favor by our, uh, how shall I say — Mafia Crime Syndicate.

Homer: Oh, yeah…

Tony: Now the time has come for you to do us a favor.

Homer: [shocked] You mean the mob only did me a favor to get something in return?  Oh, Fat Tony!  I will say good day to you, sir! [folds his arms in disgust]


Marge: Homer!  Did you tell the mafia they could eliminate my competitors with savage beatings and attempted murder?

Homer: [swallowing beer] In those words? … Yes. I saw your pouring your heart and soul into this business and getting nowhere.  I saw you desperately trying to cram one more salty treat into America’s already bloated snack hole.

So I did what I could.  I did what any loving husband would do!  I reached out to some violent mobsters.

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